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Three components of cross-country expressway to begin work on September 30

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HCMC – The construction of three components of the North-South Expressway project is scheduled to begin on September 30, with transparency and quality guaranteed in the bidding and building processes, said Nguyen Duy Lam, head of the Transport Ministry’s Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau.

Four months after getting an approval from the Government and National Assembly, the ministry has met the necessary requirements to kick off the first package for the three components — Mai Son-National Highway 45, Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet and Phan Thiet-Dau Giay.

The ministry will ensure transparency and follow regulations on the supervision, management and use of public investment capital, Lam told the media on September 25.

On September 30, construction on the Mai Son-Highway 45 section will begin in Thanh Hoa Province, Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan Province and Phan Thiet-Dau Giay in Dong Nai Province.

Some 88 contractors have bid for 13 packages, in which several firms have been awarded construction contracts with requirements much stricter than they were for previous large projects in the country.

To check the qualifications of investors, project management units have asked them to present their bank account balances and pledge to keep their deposits in escrow accounts during the evaluation process.

Besides this, contractors, either individual or involved in a consortium, must have at least five years of experience in developing large infrastructure projects. They must be capable of implementing projects equivalent to or at least 70% of the value of those they are bidding for.

For each package, the ministry also required that there would be no more than three firms in a consortium. The main contractor must be in charge of at least 25% of the package value.

According to Lam, the ministry will prevent the illegal sale or transfer of parts of the contracts. Further, unqualified firms will not be awarded the packages.

At present, the first three packages have had between 87% and 97% of their sites cleared, meeting the construction requirements. Therefore, the contractors should be blamed for the slow progress, with fines up to 12% of the contract value, he said.

By Lan Nhi

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